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The Raven
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02-23-2019 06:28 pst

Yes, orange accents. The blue became dated so we took a step in a more friendly direction for a time. The accents, bars, and links are going to rotate colors on occasion. We may be changing the main index title image as well.

Part sixteen is below and was a long while in the making. The convoluted tale sits between other stories and may cause confusion. Hopefully not, but we have published anyway. The site has not seen many updates since the outset of this year so we need to push forth whatever is available, and when. Other small changes behind the index will likely go unnoticed. Nearly 60,000 lines now. Yikes.


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The Wreckage

Part Sixteen


"The Brunette invited me inside her apartment as if I had been gone only a few days. Her smile was thin, my head was ruined. All manner of difficult thought processes ran through me. She appeared relieved to see me again, although I could sense discomfort. Her eyes remained soft throughout those first few moments after so many weeks. We sat. And came the conversation.

A long while found the two of us discussing the issues which forced me to flee from my cousin's home in Florida. The Brunette understood for the most part, however my behavior in running across the country twice and remaining wholly out of contact with everyone at home became a problem. As I tried to convey my need for very specific comfort, she reached out and attempted to keep me calm through the sordid stories. Nearly all of my resources had been tossed away like yesterday's junk mail in an effort to delude all of my life and pare everything down to the basic needs which kept me distracted and afloat. Years of difficulty and desire seemed to combine into a giant mixing bowl and push me to make decisions which would have been better avoided. Such as things were, I did it and the results piled up in a bad way. My family went from worry to distraught to anger and then finally shame. As the dark personality of my past caught up and took my sense away, others felt that being so unfeeling, cold and distant was unacceptable, leaving them to avoid me. Even sitting next to the loveliness and beautiful soul that was the Brunette no longer held me up. I fell further and more than ever needed to get out yet again. Any possibility of a lift seemed to disappear as quickly as I had fled the sunshine state weeks earlier. Damn it. After a while I knew not what to say to her. I just felt broken and at fault for all of the world's problems. She had been nothing aside from kind and understanding toward me through very difficult periods for quite some time, and that despite our locking horns on occasion. I had no wish to cause her any further trouble.

Still, the Brunette was as understanding as she was able and helped to a degree despite my depression. I ensured my phone was silenced due to the unending little blurbs from that bartender. The Brunette was not the type to take my flirty contact lightly. I ignored everything save for her loving attention. Before long I felt a sense of disdain toward my recklessness and began to ease myself out of the conversation. Within less than hour of visiting, my need for control and isolation took me and forced my hand. She could see the fall on my face, like always. No words for a time as she sat there appearing defeated and sad. Out to the balcony for a bit of air and a cigarette. Still no words, only tired expressions and the occasional hands on mine. She knew everything without me uttering one syllable. We moved inside and closed our thoughts without a smile, embraced, and I fled back to the slipper. The sunlight was waning just as my will to contact others. I had to get away but not as far as the airport. Back out of town with those big 315s just behind my ass.



472



Upon sliding back into the leather, I noticed that my neglected phone was full of messages and a voicemail. To the freeway with all haste and a satisfying feeling that I had maintained some semblance of direction since landing hours earlier. At least I still had time. But to where? My family? Previous home? Hmm... no idea. No matter what I saw through the windshield, my head only conjured images of Andrea strolling out of the hotel. The pain over her departure was pushing me down such that I could not see through to moving back into my previous life. Everything became blurry, as if the rain smeared across the glass was representing my possibilities in all their obscurity. I knew not where to go. Back to my previous home? I had one foot out the door there anyway. Was my trip going to be the deciding factor? And then a little message from the woman from which I had just departed: 'You are welcome to stay with me until things stabilize.' Holy fuck, that was a stroke I was not expecting, however the day would soon end and comfort was important. Quiet night, warmth, thought. Very nice. Immediately I replied in the positive with appreciation and kindness. Off to grab some things. At least that was one thing in place.

But the bartender? What about her? I paused the slipper part way to my home and slid into the big, square bar for a bit of booze before contacting her and making plans for a lunch. I had no idea of what to expect, but her attention toward me spoke volumes as to the interest. I calculated that no harm could come from meeting and telling a story, so the next mid day was secured. I felt some anticipation since the girl was lovely, including big, bright eyes that seemed inviting. I wanted to know more and be in her gaze for a while. The loss of Andrea’s emotional pair of dark windows was still stinging, leaving me weakened by the need. And then that sweet, sweet, kitten wrapped around me. Fucking hell she was so kind and warm. I missed it badly. Ellie helped get me the fuck out of Vegas with her caring demeanor and I loved her for it. Being home and out of the crazy, haphazard pattern of behavior was not something with which I felt comfortable, however she knew what I needed and gently pushed me to make a decision toward which I had been otherwise incapable. Ellie made it happen, and at a time when my pain over losing the angel was destroying me and leaving my caring on the side of the road. Because of the fleeting connection with Ellie and the slim chance I saw there, I could not help but be drawn to the bartender's eyes despite knowing nothing of what lay behind them. My condition was such that I still had to have a compassionate female propping me up. Weak, defeated, and longing for loving arms. Not good by any stretch, however I knew that the feeling of being intimately close would help me, albeit temporarily. And knowing I could fall again afterward floated inside, too. But there was no avoiding my desire. The anticipation grew dramatically as I pictured lying with her and holding on tightly. She had that type of look, too... understanding, calming, serene, beautiful. The more I thought about her the more I desired some time to learn more. Tall? Yes. Hair? Lots of dark hair. And the eyes? Pulling me from my sense, but not too badly. Yet.

As I sat and pondered the many facets of the bartender and my being out of the goblet with little direction, the idea of work popped in and made me quite nervous. I still had a couple of weeks' worth of leave which meant plenty of time for determining a path with as little discomfort as possible. The work had been quite fucked up during the last two months of ten, leaving me worried over returning. Soon, though, and shortly after securing my new apartment on the coast, that fateful letter arrived informing me that my help was no longer required. That blow still resonates today. As for other aspects of my foggy return from weeks of bliss, well, my family was none too happy with me and friends became distant. I really did a number with my life. Back to the slipper and on to the highway again.



471



I pulled up to the little house where I had been happy for years with many aspects of life. The memories flooded me like a giant wave bent upon my destruction. And that is no joke... Being in that home for close to three years represented the largest boost in my life along with security surrounding my place in the world and all those years of work which helped it to happen. We had everything in place -- income, future planning, comfort, reliability in all of it. The times with family and friends came along often and sometimes we hosted parties for both. The house itself represented two decades of my financial condition falling through the floor and then rising high enough for me to be the primary borrower with nothing down. After filing bankruptcy all those years earlier I thought I would never recover and eventually gave up on finding the type of security that so many others enjoyed. Working together with my partner in life helped to boost my position enough for making the home happen. All of it seemed wonderful, from the quiet evenings in front of the fireplace to the work environment that matched my personality to a tee and on to huge, lavish vacations from time to time leaving us happy and content.

Or so I had thought.

Upon finding routine comfort boring, I lunged toward a person in whom I saw all of the things which were missing in my daily life along with excitement and passion which had been absent in our long-term relationship. I dove. I ran. I felt as if I needed that change more than the importance of financial security and day-to-day life as it had been for more than a decade. And that snap decision forced a chain-reaction of events which nearly took my life numerous times and with enough tertiary damage to leave me a wrecked human being.

Visiting the house that day took my anticipation and control over time away. I fell down emotionally, broke up upon realizing the gravity of my actions, and dropped to the garage floor right in front of the fucking washer. My clothes sat there awaiting my bag, the keepsakes displayed prominently around the garage stared back at me in disgust, and the slipper rested itself in the driveway directly in front of me as a physical representation of my dreams coming to light after giving up hope.

Arriving back on the coast I found the Brunette very kind and caring with those big eyes looking upon me in appreciation of my being home and safe. We shared some quiet time on the balcony before she asked of my plans. Well, there were none. I had been operating by the seat of my pants and from one second to the next for so long that I had become unable to look beyond the next few moments. We discussed the possibilities for a while and then took to the bed for warmth. She embraced me as always along with assurance that if I ended up without a place to sleep I would be welcome. The signals were such that we were nearly done as a couple, however her caring would not cease. During the night I was awakened by my fears several times. She slept, seemingly warm and comfortable, and did not stir when I arose to gaze off the balcony and listen to the ocean’s movement. All manner of worry flowed through me, being tempered only by the resources and time which remained. I knew there was to be no lack of free time or tightness in my days which could press me into decisions regarding future daily life. I needed that time and the calm it could provide. Comfort of mind kept me alive. Nothing else. And considering all of the rips my actions created in others’ relationships with me, the path ahead seemed impossible. I didn't even know if I was able to work. Back to the warmth of the bed, I wrapped myself around her and she held on just like when we were happy. Sigh. Naked, comfortable, attached head to toe.

Morning. The Brunette was gone some time earlier. I arose and tried to get the cobwebs off my brain and clean up for a day of something. I felt anticipation over meeting with the gorgeous bartender and made a small plan for organizing my things and heading out to shop for necessities. I sent her a message of appreciation for allowing me in her home again. Shower, slipper, fluff n’ fold. Heh. Even with all of my life so fucked up I still needed clean clothes. I took off across the bridge to my favorite retailer and picked up some technology to keep the car outfitted since I was spending so much time in it. After taking care of business I cruised back toward my covert rendezvous with the lovely girl who showed so much interest in me.



470



I spied her heels outside the restaurant before even parking the slipper. Hair, too. The woman had a mane like Andrea which drove me to need the scent immediately. Damn. I parked and paused a moment to wrap my head around just exactly what I was doing. Another woman looking like a dream, the need to gush forth and feel those arms around me, and the slim possibility of much more. The heroin. Always lingering just beneath the surface yet still commanding some of my decisions and actions. I stepped out, met her gaze and headed for her as she smiled and reached a hand in my direction. Jesus, she looked beautiful outside her place of work and dressed in jeans with a buttoned blouse. My head spun as we entered and greeted each other. Fuck did she look bright and beautiful. Once seated and with drinks incoming, I finally learned that her name was Natalie. I felt tinges of nervousness over meeting with her, although there seemed no harm in having a conversation with someone after being gone and isolated for such a long period. I felt that to deflate might help but did not wish to treat her like a therapist -- as I had with countless others. I let her lead the morning and learned that her desire was similar to Melanie all those years earlier. Fuck. And looking at her eyes was already driving my half-mind into the nether regions of those slender jeans. Wonderful. Still a hole after everything that had transpired for months. Weak, full of desire, and on the edge of living at all. She looked beautiful and due to my fucked up brain that thought began to rule me as usual.

'Pain in your eyes.'
'Yes, always. I'm sorry.'
'No sorry, Don't worry.'
'Ok.'

By the arrival of a second beverage I had let flow the saga of meeting Andrea and our deep connection. Natalie was floored by the nature of us meeting on the flight and the snap decision to run away from our lives. She commented on the reckless decisions as they related to my arriving at home after ignoring everyone and everything. I explained that my life had gone awry and the need to disappear took over at a time when caring about responsibilities had vanished. I also gleaned obsessing over the female form and the fact that such thinking and dreaming helped to enable my running away in the first place. Her dark eyes told me that she was hanging upon every word. By the time our light lunch had arrived, she was so far into my story that I knew the meeting would be the first of many. I also looked at her with those eyes which telegraphed a deep desire to be comforted. Natalie’s response? Hands all over mine. So it began again… I let loose the feelings causing her to tear up and wish me well. I knew at some point she would be wrapping me in those warm arms. Good? Probably not, however I was too fucked up to realize the damage was about to be repeated. I had a tendency to open myself completely and welcome any woman I felt would hold me with care. Fuck. And then she bit her lower lip and I was done. No more hesitation or resistance. My brain welcomed anything from her gorgeous eyes. Yep… once again, and only a little over a day after letting go of Ellie. More subdued conversation in the dim lighting before we moved outside the restaurant. And she wanted more time to talk and stare. Huh? With me? I was a syndrome more than ever. In the beginning I did not see any harm in meeting with her, but after a two-hour exchange with eyes on one another I saw it coming. So I blurted my desire and ended up with an invitation to dinner at her house. Oy. Again, fuck, but resistance was nonexistent. We parted after a long, warm embrace and a light kiss. God help me, please. A few hours and I would be in her fucking home. What to do? Visit family? Ugh. It had to happen anyway, leaving me little choice. The silence went on far too long. Back across the bridge with my stomach twisted into a fucking pretzel and in anticipation of getting routed over flying out of Florida after a mere two days. The slipper carried me in comfort.



468



Seeing family was difficult. My reckless behavior and flighty decisions had not gone unnoticed at all. Ever since leaving my home, family and friends, others considered that change as the worst series of events I could have caused. I alienated everyone and lost contact many times since fleeing to the coast just two months earlier. And I heard about it. All of it. Splitting up two families after more than a decade of being intertwined was viewed as hurtful, selfish and very unfeeling on my part. An entire way of life was turned on its ear with one decision on that fateful Sunday afternoon. Florida was the idea for bringing me closer to family and separating me from the Brunette and our isolated situation long enough for my cousin to get through my wall and talk sense into me before too much more time passed. The events of two thousand three were thrown in as well, causing my relatives to sum me up as a person who cared little for the needs and well-being of others. I could not disagree with any of it.

I pulled up to Natalie’s little home and strolled to the door full of turmoil. The anticipation of being close to her caring and beauty had no chance of outweighing the concern for how I had been viewed by my sister and her family. I hesitated a moment before knocking, considered the ups and downs of connecting with yet another soul for comfort, and struck the door. There she stood -- smiling from ear to ear -- all legs and flowing hair. She took my hand and pulled me into the warmth of her home. Dinner? Nope. Wine? Yep. To the sofa after a long embrace and straight into conversation, picking up right where we had left off. I smelled her shampoo and soap, pushing my head away from the issues of the day and pulling in the familiar need to be against her beauty where I tended to find happiness. Natalie looked at me with wide eyes and full attention as we went over my trip with Andrea, eventually leading me to the reasoning for my worry about visiting cousins. The trip to the Salton Sea, fucked up behavior during the recent holidays, and my intense need for female companionship brought her to tears more than once. I continued to look upon her with desire and her lovely expression told me it was a matter of time. Again she took both of my hands in hers.

'You are fascinating.'
'I have no idea what I am.'
'You're not full of shit, for one thing, and I feel your goodness.'
'Andrea told me the same.'

And then the water works from my eyes. I slumped over and was held up by Natalie. It was bound to happen. I lost myself in memories of that wonderful angel and remained across Natalie’s lap for quite some time. She held on and gently stroked my hair until I finally calmed enough to compose myself and speak again. At that point, with Natalie’s gorgeous eyes all wet and emotional, I decided to tell her of my current situation and the on-and-off desire to walk into the ocean to cease thinking and spare others any further bullshit. She began to cry again and told me in no uncertain terms that to do so would be to deny the world a very sensitive, beautiful soul. That caught me off guard, derailed whatever was going on in my broken brain, and left me needing more physical contact. I just could not avoid thinking of it. Natalie was right there -- against me -- and appearing so lovely that my defensive mechanism switched on. Yes, the drug took over. I lunged. Fuck it. And she responded in kind. The feeling was so warm and wonderful that I lost myself in all that soft hair and kissed her like the world was ending. Moments passed with us all over each other until she pushed me aside and climbed onto my lap. More and more for God-knows how long before she backed off, all breathy and huge eyes, and asked me to spend the night. Holy fucking hell in a rainstorm. I had no idea Natalie wished to be so affectionate, but after hearing the way I was asked to stay I knew we could be good for each other at the time. Eventually I inquired as to dinner and was told that we were going out to ease up a little and talk more. Wow. Another decidedly assertive woman, just like Andrea. What the fuck was I doing? Again with the incoming heartache and damage? Yes, exactly. We grabbed our things and left for some dim lighting and food. Holy Christ.

Natalie loved the slipper and slid down just like the Brunette always did. Her black leather matched the low seat, sending my thoughts to the moon and back at light speed. Fuck, was she ever at home in that car. I steered us across the bridge to my usual spot where we sat at the bar for a light meal and cocktails. Just like Vegas... booze, food, sex, damage. I knew it would happen but felt blinded like always. The heroin and Natalie’s long arms around me caused sense to fall away quickly. I was all the way in by the time we finished dinner and clear thinking escaped me. The woman was very affectionate and attentive during our subdued conversation, offering wisdom here and there. Upon closing the check and exiting, she grabbed me and held tight for a long while. I loved every single second of her and made a point of appreciating each moment. Back across the bridge and straight to her little home. Warmth, at every mile. Hands, eyes, loving expressions. God help me. Natalie’s sweet gazes were squeezing my brain more and more as we drove. And then something else: She wished to sleep wrapped in each other’s arms. Huh? Oh boy did that wind me up. At a time when my crushed dreams of Andrea’s beauty attached to me were taking over, Natalie fucking floored me with her request to stay the night and then combined such bliss by adding the type of comfort I needed above all things. I smiled and told her nothing could make me happier than sleeping next to her. The only stipulation? Partially clothed. No problem whatsoever. We pulled in, parked, and headed inside where Natalie proceeded to crack some vino. Wonderful, to say the least.



468



She peeled off her light jacket and revealed quite the upper body. I was silent a moment taking in the shape of her breasts and long neck. My lips parted slightly and informed her of the thoughts floating within. Natalie poured the wine and we sat once again as I let the words come forth at her request. She stared and listened intently while her fingers played with mine. The contact began to drive me nuts but I stayed the course. Every time she leaned toward me or the table I caught a glimpse of lace. Brain fade. Fuck did she look nice. Sweet beyond words, attentive, focused upon what I was trying to get across. I was right at home talking with her. The last drop of wine gone and my story closing, we decided to hit the sheets and rest. Oy, all I could think was her getting undressed to the undies and sliding in next to me. To the bedroom, clothes slowly removed, my mind nonfunctional, and another hug with her warm skin in my hands. Jesus crap. I felt her chest pressed against mine, received a little peck on the cheek, and she climbed in with a pat of her hand inviting me. Lingerie, skin, eyes, hair. Holy bleeding fuck... was I going to be able to lay next to her and maintain myself? Would she? I had no idea, however the trust was overwhelming me more than her nearly nude form right before my eyes. There was no hesitation in her dropping the beautiful outfit and revealing so much skin to me. I slid in and Natalie instantly pulled the covers and wrapped herself tightly. A touch to the bedside lamp and darkness. Blood pressure. Fingers in my hair. God.

We laid there against each other and quietly spoke of chance meetings. I went over the odds of sitting next to a woman like Andrea and within hours latching to one another as if we had been searching all our lives for such a connection. The comfort of being so close to Natalie reminded me of Andrea’s calming manner when we were in the dark. Everything felt ok somehow. Difficulties melted away in favor of affection and caring eyes. Natalie had one leg over me and I knew she noticed my physical excitement. I said nothing about it and began to realize that like Ellie she understood and was not concerned. Much time passed with the conversation continuing where we left off on the sofa. Natalie felt like a beautiful therapist with something more. I felt her bra pressed up to my side and dreamed of having all of her but said nothing. The issues in my head would not allow anything so forward, especially considering how open and trusting she had been. There we were, one day after exchanging phone numbers. I loved it to no end. More time went by and I found her fingers in my hair, so I decided to return the caressing. Shoulders, neck, upper back, and that was it. As much as I needed to run my hands all over her legs and rear, I remained above the waist and away from her bra. I had to leave it alone. My brain -- being the way I crafted it over so many years -- became troubled by the need to dive into her sex. I kept it to myself, however, and pushed back with great effort to relax and enjoy where we were. After a long while the talking slowed, my head calmed, and sleep took over. Thank fucking Christ for her invitation. Earlier I had no idea she wished to be attached in that way. Wow. So comfortable. Tempting? Fuck yes. But the cozy woman deserved respect.

Hours. Darkness.



510



I awoke in a sweat with the family visit swirling. Knowing I had caused such vast and far-reaching destruction was hurting inside and I could not seem to quiet my heart. I kept seeing faces of others cursing me and screaming about my being so unfeeling and short with all of them. I was being tormented from the inside out to the point of nearly losing control. Right there next to me and against my back was yet another sweet soul who had been very open and willing to listen and embrace my tale and issues. The only glaring positive thought was me avoiding trying to ravage her body and into the escape from thought I needed so badly. I let her be and was proud of that. I said nothing in such a direction, kept my hands away, and knew she appreciated my resistance to such a draw. Heroin, obsession, beauty... all of it right there in bright blue lace and I did nothing. That was good, but the hell inside nearly forced me to jump her for all I was worth. I laid still and tried to reconcile everything. After a while I was able to calm a bit and headed for the bathroom. Upon returning I found the bed empty. Natalie strolled in without her fucking bra, bouncing slightly and offering me a glass of water. Holy shit.. there were those breasts right before my eyes in the night light and looking amazingly shapely. Nipples pointing in the cool air. Fuck me. She laid down and in the process I spied all those radii that controlled my life. One hand reaching for me and that was that. I took her in my arms again, that time feeling her chest against mine sans bra. Jesus. Blood flow again. Natalie smiled then sighed, telling me that we needed to keep it simple. I could not disagree and replied that the bra leaving her globes free was not easy to deal with. She sighed again, rose, and donned the lovely lace. Back to the wrapped position and off to sleep with my head blending everything once again.

Morning darkness. Bra gone again, damn it.

When Natalie awakened she revealed that sleeping in anything more than bottoms was uncomfortable. I did my best to avoid staring at her chest which she did not seem to understand. She told me that looking at her body was ok because she trusted me. Oy. Hearing such sweetness took me to a place where I would not violate that trust -- even with only words -- so I let it go and looked on occasion. The blood returned against my will due to our being so close and her fingers all over mine. Natalie noticed and stated that she was very flattered. I yearned to be all over her but kept my desire hidden as much as possible.

'Coffee?'
'Yes, please.'

Natalie rose again, donned the a shirt, and invited me to the kitchen. Along the way she flipped the lights and my brain melted from the sight of her from the rear. Two gaps, three-quarter cut undies, long legs and painted toenails. Fucking hell, anyway. In her kitchen she began to make coffee and I badly desired pressing myself against her from the back, so I asked. She said go right ahead and the blood rushed as I stood behind her with my pressure sliding right between her upper thighs. Holy shit. She squeezed her legs a bit, reached down to caress the underside, and then quickly spun to kiss me. Upon backing off, I heard her whisper...

'If this is making you crazy, I will relieve it after we shower. I know how you think after all of our speaking, and I really don't mind. I knew the night would be tough.'

Wait... what? A dream? A chance? Who was she? Could I allow her to be so generous? Or could I even resist? After the many occasions with Andrea’s tender lips and tongue all over me the pictures flipped through my head like an out-of-control deck of cards. I could not believe that Natalie went in such a direction. I was floored to the point of words failing. I said nothing and let her go back to the coffee. She simply smiled and kissed my cheek gently. I lost my mind immediately. My instinct was to return myself to her rear and hold tight. When I did, she took my hand and slid it up under her shirt, effectively inviting me to caress her breasts. And with a little whisper that she felt as I, my desire tripled. Full pressure, her fingers tickling, both my hands all over her nipples, and I calculated that it was fine. Natalie was ok with it as well even though I felt a bit weak for moving in such a direction. Throughout the night I was against her over and over dreaming of ravaging her from head to toe, but thoughts of my family visit were derailing anything clear. I also felt that her allowing me to stay in her bed was a tremendous gesture of trust and I did not wish to cause her any difficulty at all. Apparently, being near me was leading her in a similar direction, so the eventual closeness took both of us to the same place.



511



We cooled somewhat and she asked that I partially dress so we could talk before a shower. No problem. Knowing things were still comfortable helped me to calm and relax. To the bed we strolled, once again with my eyes glued to her ass and up and down those thighs. Oh my. We sipped the coffee while I pushed out my desire to be physical. Natalie inquired as to my time with my sister so I poured forth the whole visit. Within moments she offered some soft words and realized that some of the things I felt about myself were rooted in the snap decisions which caused others to lose faith in my ability to remain stable. Natalie was still sweet toward me, and considering the subject matter I feared her wishing to either cease the discussion or part ways before long. Nope. Again she told me that being a person meant life was eventually going to place me in uneasy situations which had to be dealt with on the fly. Hmm. And then a hug and kiss. The addiction began to return as Natalie headed back to the kitchen for a refill. Her rear end was calling me in that voice which shut out the world. I watched her walk out and back in, the front allowing me to see the compound curves again. Fuck. Pressure.

A bit more conversation and we took to the shower. My head was unable to process anything after hearing her sweet offer to remove my frustration. I still expected nothing, however, and one syllable from her could have shut it off for good. I had no wish to complicate things or cause discomfort. The woman was already unreal in her caring and offer of comfortable sleep. And so comfortable it was. A beautiful, warm body right there for me to cling. Yes. Into the bath, Natalie peeled off the shirt and I stared. She smiled and dropped the bottoms, hugged me and tugged a my shorts. Oy. Into the hot water where we did not speak. I saw her eyes looking very emotional as we enjoyed the warmth. Clean, out, dry, with my nonfunctional brain trying to find sense in such a meeting, especially considering her desire to contact me very quickly. Cut to the bedroom again with me foraging in my backpack for clothing. Natalie still said nothing and dressed herself in lovely things once again. When I reached for my things she stopped me and moved close for a kiss. Wonderful, soft and full lips all over mine causing me to lose the clothing I was holding in my hands. She began with the fingers tickling and within seconds I was out of my mind with desire. She sat me in the edge of the bed and proceeded to send me flying with gentle affection. I could not understand her willingness to please me combined with such a sweet demeanor. Part way to her sending me up the hill, she paused as I felt the cool after her lips left me. Hands still caressing, Natalie looked up with the beginnings of tears, and I heard...

'All of it, ok?'
'Okay.'

I lost it and dove toward her with every single kind of attention I could imagine. Natalie was passionate, beautiful, caring… all over the room and all over me. As she said… all of it. I was floored, out of my mind with desire. I positioned her with memories of Andrea, placed her lingerie on that body again and stared. She looked at me as if I had made her an experiment of sorts as my eyes took in all that was possible. I moved to her with the obsession driving me insane. Into that place above all others as I sent her up and over while listening to hushed whispers and haphazard breathing. She then took me to the chair and went to town as I watched her wet hair flow all over sharp shoulders. I grasped at that hair and raised it to watch her tongue working feverishly. Closer and closer to the point of bliss and then she backed off and climbed on me. I could take little more and with my smallest voice I requested her mouth again. Natalie stood me up and gently went back to my pressure until the stars fell before me. And just like the angel she stayed on me a long while. Looking up with a smile, Natalie mouthed the word 'wonderful' causing whatever brain power I had left to burn away as I reeled from the feelings. I took her face and we kissed deeply for moments. Again the words failed to form within my melted psyche. We laid down again, wrapped tightly, and remained quiet. Just breathing and fingers intertwined. I fucking loved it but still did not understand.

'I knew we could be that good together. I knew it.'



512



Jesus fuck... where did she come from? My head ran through all of the possibilities which may have taken place upon reaching home, and connecting with a very beautiful and very passionate, caring woman was not one of them. What were the fucking odds? Was what we were doing ok in the grand scheme of my weakened and depressed state? Or would I end up falling from a cliff after parting with Natalie? Did she want more? Fucking hell, I spun the questions into a frappé of confusion and worry. As we laid there together all warm and comfortable, thoughts of my family entered and chopped the intimacy in half. I began to stress over the situations which had to be mended. Natalie saw the difficulty in my eyes and held on. After a little while of being physically fused and quiet, she told me that work was going to intrude. I responded with words of worry about what we had done and was shut down immediately. No worry, no issue, just warm enjoyment. Wow. We arose, cleaned up and dressed to go out the door. My destination was clear: I had to go back to family and attempt an explanation to ease the trouble I had caused. There were no good feelings at my last try, so the uphill remained. And fucking steep. The Brunette, my living conditions, and the idea of work were shoved into a small space in favor of focusing upon personal relationships. I had to dispense with the fucking wreckage. Not something to which I looked forward. On top of that, I viewed a message from the Brunette stating that she had been expecting me the night before. Fuck. Was I capable of keeping anything straight or making a solid decision to save my life? More damage.

Wreckage.

Natalie instructed me to return after her shift at the bar. Instructed. Wow, that was positive. I told her I would, although thinking of the Brunette being left in the dark again made me cringe. I did not wish to upset her any more than I already had. The indication was she wanted to talk more, along with the open invite for me to spend the night had I no other place to go. I still felt as if I lived there, too. As odd as that may sound, the truth was that she never told me to leave. We had issues together, parted many times after a heated discussion, but at no time was I told not to return. That spoke volumes about how far her caring reached. Natalie noticed my deep thinking and offered a hug for comfort. So sweet. We left her home and agreed to message each other throughout the day. One kiss and back in the slipper to cross the bridge again. I cruised to my favorite midday destination with the intention of loosening up a bit and contacting my sister. Natalie and her wonderful warmth were still occupying a good portion of my mind and limiting any clarity or focus I needed in order to work through the damage I had caused throughout months. I could not avoid images of her beautiful body all over me. The woman was so sensual and her big eyes floated deep inside me. What a night, and holy fuck... the morning. And then the Brunette, that beautiful soul with which the connection was diminishing. Sadness. And family. Ugh.

The meeting was set after just enough time for me to stare at yet another bartender and swill a few glasses of scotch. No lunch. Not smart, but such as I was that never surprised anyone. I headed out after a wink to the breasts behind the bar and slid over to my sister’s house while anticipating another inquisition. And I was not far off. Upon walking in, my cousin was already on the phone in conference mode and the questions flew quicker than I could formulate answers. I was calm for the most part but found it very difficult to explain my behavior while half-loaded and with a head full of sex. I avoided going into the obsession and addiction for fear of others viewing me even as more deviant than I viewed myself. Andrea did not see it -- nor did Ellie, that little kitten -- because I had been told that the manner in which I see females is beautiful. Hmm… still, I did not head in such a direction. And without their knowledge that I was trying to fulfill a dream there was no acceptable reasoning for my being so fucking flighty and distant for months. Leaving my home, relationship and life behind to run to another woman was bad. It was horrible, really, and both my sister and cousin laid it out clearly. I was told in no uncertain terms that I had to straighten myself out and live life as a productive member of society. Good fucking luck. And then my sister commented out loud that I smelled like a distillery before one in the afternoon, my cousin chimed in about the drinking, and both cursed me for my lifestyle. Fuck. I could barely defend myself and was told that my reasoning was empty, selfish, reckless, and not to be romanticized in any way. Jesus fucking Christ, what a wondrous situation. I sat and listened to the tandem lectures a while longer before finally asking for a pause and a beer.

'Is that a joke?'



513



Oof. Whoops! That was not a good idea and apparently not funny to anyone but me. She continued to go on about the massive split of two families and my long term of absence from work after eleven years of steady, stable employment. I listened in my slightly inebriated condition and awaited something positive. Nope. Nothing. Back and forth like a tag team about my leaving the ex, and then the conversation deteriorated further. It went back to two-thousand-three when I pulled the same shit, only to a lesser degree. Just ugh. I had shrinking ground upon which to stand and decided to flee. I rose from my chair and motioned toward the door with eyebrows raised, then heard this:

'You want to go? Get the hell out.'

Splendid. I walked away with a combination of anger and sadness, dropped into the slipper and headed for the fucking bridge again. No Natalie, no Andrea, no Ellie. Just shit swirling and a deep need to drink. And then a little sound next to me from the phone... 'Go drink more you alcoholic ass.' Yikes! No one was happy with me so I decided to do just what she suggested, along with placing the world on do not disturb again. Fuck it. Why not? I was unable to make headway anywhere except surrounded by a woman’s arms. I made the epic decision to go sit at Natalie’s bar and drown for a while. Her eyes could have solved all the world’s problems with their attentive and calming manner. I flew across the bridge with emotional music blaring and the phone silenced after that wonderful message. The planet on hold... again. My attitude began to diminish at an alarming rate as the miles rolled under those mighty 315s. Along the way, the music pulled at me to shut everyone down yet again and run the fuck away. Anger from my own actions but also at others not allowing me to define exactly why I lived in such a state. Everyone has a lifestyle and many are vastly different. That though continued to push me as I approached the west end of the bridge. More thinking, more music, more volume... just more. I needed a break and had no intention of meeting with family for a long while. Twice was enough to force the realization that things at home had become much worse than I could have imagined while flying all over the country with Andrea. And I still needed that angel wrapped around me for security and comfort. There would be none of that, ever. Natalie was my only option since the connection with the Brunette was not in the best of shape. I ran to her with all haste.

Seeing those eyes brighten when I strolled into the bar warmed me and helped to alleviate the stress of the early afternoon. Natalie greeted me as if we had been together for years. Comfortable, relaxed, gorgeous. Her face told me everything I needed to know before a single word was uttered. We spoke briefly whenever she had the opportunity and made a plan to meet later in the evening at her house. Wonderful. I was dying for arms around me again and hers fit the bill perfectly. I sat and gazed at her, considered my diminishing options in life, and eventually left in favor of quiet. I rolled back to the coast for a walk along the levee. Knowing that I could melt into Natalie in a few hours brought me to a warm place. God damn did I ever need that woman. I was still so fucking out of balance that everything spun me into a batter. I felt as if the mixer blades were lifting from a bowl and causing my thoughts to fly off and splatter all over the walls. Marvelous. Few options, no fucking patience with anyone, nowhere to live, running out of resources, and grasping at the one situation which ruined me in the first place. Arms around me, sex all over me, eyes upon me. Fuck.

And then a consideration I had not seen for months... visiting a therapist. Good? Bad? Would I railroad another soul trying to crack me open and let the harshness of my mind spill out all over the floor? Who the fuck could possibly know, however the idea of speaking with a professional seemed more and more necessary in order to avoid throwing myself into oncoming traffic.



514



I reached the top of the Bootlegger's Steps, looked out over the calm water, and began to organize my situation. Since the Brunette was sweet enough to offer her home to me while I was still between everything, I decided to go see her that next afternoon and discuss it. I immediately sent a message informing her that I was very sorry to have overlooked the previous night and failed to communicate with her about it. Moments later I received a reply telling me that everything was fine, along with a smiley. Very nice. That took one section of my stress away and helped me to remain forward in my thinking. I still had planned to meet with Natalie and allow myself to relax about being close to her, no matter what might have taken place. And then to the apartment of the beautiful soul, then whatever. One step at a time.

I took a seat for a little while with a calmer head and dreamed of Natalie's warmth toward me. I was looking very forward to sleeping all wrapped in her beauty. Her body was gorgeous, so after a short while my head began to descend into sexual thoughts forcing me to get the hell out of nature and cool the jets with a snack among others. I needed distraction due to the heat that was generated every time I was reminded of the morning. The woman was passionate, generous, beautiful. Very dangerous combination when it came to me. Very fucking dangerous, indeed. Depressed? Fuck yes, but still so very full of desire from one moment to the next. Off to yet another bar to await the Brunette's return from work.

When I arrived at her door I was greeted with a long hug and a very sensual kiss. The Brunette's eyes were on fire and I could not help but be taken aback at her attention toward me.

'I've missed you so much.'
'Ditto, beautiful soul.'

We took to the sofa and talked quietly about everything for a long while before moving to the balcony with beer in hand. She always like to relax and stare out at the ocean while going over the work day and all that had taken place between us. Her eyes spoke volumes as always and had a bit of a playful look to them. I had always loved the look of her beautiful eyebrows and the intensity with which she looked at me much of the time. She drove me crazy, too. The Brunette was the most sexual woman I had ever spent time with when we met, and the nights were wondrous in the beginning. Time gave way to issues and our physical relationship slowed even before we took that long trip to the Salton. That afternoon sitting with her I could not avoid dreaming of her incredible lips upon mine. The dreams spun inside and I did my best not to let it show. When we returned inside I had apparently failed because she began to play with my fingers with that devilish smile I knew all too well. As I started to lose my mind over her sexuality and those unreal breasts, the pressure built and I was helpless to prevent it. Just hours earlier Natalie and I went around the room all over each other and reaching passionate heights which I thought might keep the desire away for a long time. Nope. There it was, on display and making me wish to rip her clothing off and taste the delicacy inside. I backed off in hopes that I was not offending her sensitive heart and tried to go back to the conversation. And then she asked of Andrea and the things we had explored together. Ugh. I had no wish to go into detail, although if anyone could have dealt with it she was the one. I could feel that she was warming to the idea of being even closer. In the past I was told that two consenting and healthy adults need not overthink the idea of a sexual encounter and that pushed me to dream further. I just wanted her. Bad. She often wore leggings or stretch pants around the apartment, above with just a t-shirt and bra. Below? Inside? I knew how she chose to dress herself in comfort. Simple, yet so very gorgeous. Brazilian, too. Fuck me. The god damned fucking Brazilian. When that soft smoothness entered my head I was over the fucking limit. Desire, pressure, yearning. Damn.



436



And then the kissing. Holy hell in a hand basket... the passion was overwhelming and drove me up the wall. Hands roaming, fingers, her hair all over my face, Jesus fucking crap again. We dove into each other as if the ocean was about to come up the driveway. The bed, the floor, the sofa. Fuck. I loved it. Those massive breasts nearly suffocating me in the best way. Holy shit, her tenderness under the control of my lips and tongue, and then hers slathered all over me with tickling fingers until I could take no more. I told her to slow but she wanted me to experience something she knew was above all other aspects of life in my mind. Jesus God... she did it with loving care and I shook like the world was ending. Longer and longer she stayed upon me until smiling and falling to the floor with lips on my neck.

'Fuck did I ever need that.'
'You surprised me, my dear.'
'I surprised myself but had to have you again.'
'Geez.'

To the bed again and into each other's arms for awhile. I kept thinking that it was fine. Neither of us was otherwise attached and that included Natalie. Like she said earlier -- consenting. Yep. Comfort and satisfaction with little to no emotional cost or damage. We spoke further and the situation of my disappearance seemed to be easing a little. The Brunette maintained her position regarding my seeking happiness and companionship which helped me to relax about at least one aspect of my return. Family was another matter and I felt to repair that may take years. She reminded me of the open invitation for sleeping in comfort within her home and I thanked her profusely. After causing so much turmoil, the offer was extremely generous and I responded by telling her that staying with her for a short time would help me to get things organized and perhaps on track to be a regular person again within society. She smiled and assured me that being there was just fine. Such a sweetheart.

I lifted myself from the bed and stated that I needed to run around a bit. No worries. I also told her that I would return the following afternoon to stay the night, perhaps more than one. Out the door to my beloved slipper and off toward Natalie's place of work. I had to see her and the idea of sleeping all wrapped up in those arms was too wonderful a thought for me to go anywhere else. The need to return to my original home in the valley was beginning to bother me but I knew there was no avoiding it. The plan was to head there in the morning to secure a few things and communicate with my ex regarding our situation. I felt concern for her -- albeit somewhat late -- due to our lives being symbiotic for more than a decade. The change I set into motion destroyed her and left a mess in that little house, figuratively anyway. Some damage control had to be done. The plan was to spend the evening and night with Natalie and take off to my home in the morning. Afterward? Drinking. I was going to need it... bad. Just bad. The thought of returning to my original home was frightening to say the least. I knew the memories would flood and hurt me. Just the living room had the ability to break me due to an outline on the wall where the big wedding photo was displayed. Shortly after me running to the coast, my ex took it down (as expected, considering how much I had hurt that woman) and the mark of the nail became representative of the hole I left in her life. Nothing else was hung in that location. The empty wall screamed at me with the harshest words imaginable. And I deserved every fucking second of it. Our relationship had been very stable and very unique for years and culminated in purchasing that home. Less than three years later...

Emotional wreckage. Destroyed completely.

The slipper carried me in relative comfort back to the scene of the crime, as it were. Thoughts of home were taking my insides and twisting them badly, just as every during visit to my home. It had to happen due to so many of my things being there and tons of loose ends. Mail, belongings, everything. In the short time that we lived there together the house went through a transformation in order to make it like the long-term images in our heads with regard to what we found comfortable and attractive. The house itself was quite dated and the only upgrade we performed was the guest bath. Naturally there were plans in place for the master bath and kitchen. We were not concerned with time as the idea was to stay there indefinitely. Things could come together slowly as there was no hurry. Or so we had thought. The one bath took nearly two years and was our first adventure of that kind. We agonized and enjoyed every step of the work because we had always done everything together. That was our way and a good portion of why our relationship was so wonderful. And I shredded it like yesterday's junk mail. Fuck. Hopefully Natalie's company would help ease the hell.

And being with her was causing even more wreckage. There was just no end to it.



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I pulled in and dashed to the bar for the sight of her eyes. Upon seeing me enter, Natalie's face lit up and displayed a huge smile. I was greeted with a long hug and kiss as some of the regulars looked on in wonder as to just who I might have been to garner such attention. She felt warm and welcoming. I sat and enjoyed some medicine and small talk while the storm in my head pushed at me with great strength. The next day was not going to be easy for me or my ex and the difficulty was written all over my face. Natalie's sweetness did help, although I knew the next day was going to snap me in half yet again. More booze, please. Aside from female companionship it was all I had. Learning, rising, growing, reaching... nope. Fuck no.

By the time her shift ended, the sun had gone away along with my ability to find joy. I was pretty well loaded and in need of a ride to her house and that meant leaving my sexy slipper behind. Whatever. I slurred a message to my ex and requested permission to enter our home to do some organizing. She responded immediately in the positive which helped to a degree. I still felt like a steaming pile of shit and even the little image of her from my contacts was like a knife to my brain. The woman was kind, always, and asked of my well-being even after everything I had done to her. Unbelievable. All I did was hurt others and they came right back at me with either courtesy or cursing. The ex was constantly the former. Such a person. That caused me to feel even worse about myself. The further down and out I became in those two months, the more kind she became out of concern for my mental and emotional health. Really? Yep, that was the type of person she was for years. All the difficulty she went through with others allowed her to learn and retain wisdom. And that, in turn, helped me. She always did, no matter how many times my depression caused me to lash or fall. And I repaid that by running away. Real nice.

Natalie poured me into her car, drove us the short distance to her home, and led me inside straight to the bed. She walked out, returned with a glass of water, yanked my clothing off and said goodnight with a concerned expression. Out like a light and worried of nightmares. Through the night I awakened several times in a sweat with stress and worry pressing on my head and keeping any relaxation at bay. I knew I had drank quite a bit in hopes of forgetting just what I had become and all that I had caused during the fall and winter. Heart rate up there, fidgeting hands, no comfort other than knowing I could cling to Natalie for solace. So I did just that. I grabbed her tightly and held on for dear life. Upon me clutching to her she awoke and held me. All that skin normally would have caused me to lunge but my head was elsewhere for the second time in as many days. Natalie whispered that I would be fine and to try and avoid beating myself up any more for fear of falling down yet again. Her words were soft and sweet and helped me to relax more. She also said that others typically had quite the high opinion of me and that should be an indication of my value. She pushed and I did not push back. I could not do it. The kindness and help she was throwing in my direction while lying nearly naked together was beginning to pull me up. I stayed the course and pressed myself to her warm body. Eventually that comfort led back to sleep. Thank Christ.



474



Morning. Natalie next to me completely nude and warm. Jesus, she was so comforting. Yes, just like all of the others. I cozied into her as long as possible until the pull of responsibilities took over. The effort of leaving that bed was tremendous. My head was mixed up with sex, fear, longing and regret. I arose, cleaned up, popped a kiss onto her forehead and out the door toward coffee and necessities. The car carried me across the bridge for what felt the hundredth time. I went out into the valley and found a quiet corner to reflect before moving in the direction of my house. I sat a little while and tried to build myself up for seeing that place again. The effort was difficult, to say the least. Fear of seeing things which had become representations of our long adventure had the ability to cripple me at a glance. My insides disallowed food, so the coffee was it. Back to the car with nervousness taking over.

I walked into the cold house and gazed at the warm glow. That was the paint color of choice in many of our rooms. Instantly the memories engulfed me like a tsunami from hell. All of the work we did together taking a bland, little dated home and transforming it into comfort from end to end shook me and my depression over everything flared badly. I dropped into one of the leather recliners and sat to compose myself. Across the room? That wall which held our big, framed wedding photo. To my right? The beautiful tapestry we purchased to begin the world travel theme. To my left? The little ceramic cruise ship resting atop the big television which represented our first and only cruise together just over a year earlier. The entire picture of the living room was still holding all the little things we collected for more than a decade. Keepsakes and reminders of vacations all over the place left me yearning to die. Horrible. Everything was still there because she had not changed much since I left the house a few months before. Into the bedroom, to the dresser. I pulled some things out and then looked up to see the framed slipper poster above my watch display box. Ugh. Too much slicing my head to ribbons. I fell again and tried to recover by moving into the garage. Tools still there, marks on the rug from the slipper being parked nightly, our cheap washer and dryer with the shelf above on which I constantly bumped my head, and then the side door leading to our backyard. All those parties and evenings around the fire. Horseshoes. Barbecues. The picnic table that my friend and I had built while we were half drunk with the spouses looking on while laughing at our ridiculous effort. Memories everywhere of our fun times broke me right the fuck in half and I fled. I had to. Seeing our lives so intertwined like that and remembering how close we were killed me inside. I wanted to kill me on the outside. Fuck.

The slipper once again purred under my foot and pulled me back to the highway. God bless that fucking car.

I hauled ass back over the hill to distract myself from the harsh reminders of my previous life. Looking around one of my favorite places which always brought good memories helped to a degree, however the underlying feeling of dread within me was still causing issues. As usual, I deserved all of it. Whatever could take me from a decent mood and drive me into the ground was typically welcomed after all of the bad. It felt familiar, important somehow. Almost as if my head would not allow me to enjoy too much before moving in the direction of hurting myself inside over the pain I had caused others. I tried to focus upon things in the huge retailer and listen to that soft music which dated back to the mid 90s and relax. After some time zig-zagging my way through the endless merchandise I decided to move along back to the peninsula and find someplace to sit and gather my thoughts. Natalie's bar? Fuck no. Isolation. The wreckage of the past few months was mounting and forcing me to realize that the consequences were still reaching ever further. That meant I was unwilling to inflict my situation upon another innocent soul. At least for a little while, anyway. Fuck me.



444



I slid into the big restaurant at the mall for a while. Bar, booze, phone. The bartender was kind and helpful and the warm glow of the lights and televisions felt as home. I spent so much fucking time at bars for months that the look and feel were beginning to be the only aspects of life which brought me peace. Well, that and the oft-mentioned female arms around me. I sat a long while and tried to gather thoughts and ideas on how to best proceed without allowing myself to fall into the same situations as in Vegas. I needed to find strength within which could bring me forward, rather than backpedaling. I was good at that. Just put the world on hold and dive into a woman. I still worried about the manner in which I had been viewed by family -- mostly my sister and cousin -- and that was capable of twisting me pretty badly. Time would tell if those relationships could be repaired. In the meantime, I felt that some light communication had to take place just to let them know that I was mostly ok and willing to listen.

Another round and a salad.

Natalie had been messaging me here and there while I sat. She was sending little hugs and hearts and telling me to relax about everything rather than stress. The woman was such a sweetheart, head to toe. I did my best to stay positive, for her if not for myself. I told her that I would not be staying the night again as I had planned to be with the Brunette for more conversation and to attempt working things through with her. I then contacted the woman in question to confirm and received an immediate response that I was welcome to come by anytime after she arrived home from work. Very nice. And then more messages asking if I was doing ok, where I had been, how the visit to my house went, etc., and my responses were short and to the point. She asked me to be careful with the drinking and sent little hearts. With that conversation closed, I took to the road and headed toward the south bay for more shopping. I felt that being around people for a while may help me to fit back in to society. Maybe, but again I had to try. Others who cared for me would appreciate the effort. The slipper hit the highway and to the mecca I traveled in search of some decent clothing.

I moved around and sought a few things which would not relate to my recent travels or the time since I left my home for the coast. I needed detachment from my prior life and even more from the bliss of Andrea and Ellie. All over I searched out some clothing, found what I needed, purchased and changed. Did I feel any different? Not really, but perhaps throughout the coming days a new look seemed important and may allow me to rise. Along the way I popped into one of the restaurants for more booze. The bar was welcoming, comfortable, and reminded me of Spago, although with much lower price tags. Yet another alluring female bartender should have been an indication that sitting there might not have been the best idea. I was still weak and sans self-esteem, so I immediately pushed forth with a pleasant comment and received a smile.

'You don't waste time, do you?' Smiling.
'I am in a state right now.'
'Hmm.'

She kept on with the flirty smiling for a long time before finding distraction with duties. I just sat there and stared at her little ass, effectively bringing me back weeks to the loveliness behind the bar at DFW. That memory snapped me back quickly and I reigned in my words immediately. Cocktail. Bread. Eyes. Ass. Fuck me, what a damned hole I had become. Again I chided myself for being so constantly and consistently reckless with my words and actions. When she returned to ask of my enjoyment, I tossed it all out there. Yep, everything. I pushed. I longed. I needed, as usual. Her features spoke to me as with every other interest I had found, and when she responded I felt the need to get the fuck out of there and make myself become forgotten. I went too far and spoke my mind. The bartender did not take offense, nor did she feel like cutting off the conversation. That was all me. The instant vision of causing even more wreckage took over and I stated that I had to flee. She smiled, shook my hand, and out the door I went with a pile of cash and half a drink left behind. I didn't even know how much money I dropped, but the necessity of running took that importance away. Gone. Fuck me. Why?

Damage. Wreckage. More.



515



Upon dashing away from yet another attractive female upon which I began to inflict myself, I pressed the slipper to get me in the direction of the coast again and hauled ass out of there. The only good fortune I felt was a lack of phone number exchange with the beauty behind the bar. I could have, I would have, I desired her skin in my waiting mouth, but I did not. Unbelievable. Miles rolled under me as I thanked the gods for the strength to avoid contact and get the fuck out of there before I could have ventured further. Natalie was the last example of a kind soul willing to be very close to me and adding another would have been detrimental to pretty much everything I was trying (little) to accomplish. I also felt that it was the first balanced decision for months. Not bad. Approaching the exit where Natalie was located illustrated more weakness. I pulled off, ran to the bar, and slid in to gaze at her eyes. I needed comfort badly but she was working. I had to settle for some time alone and glances. At least she was smiling and always happy to see me. All at once my head waffled between keeping my plan to stay with the brunette or run back to the tall one for much wrapping of arms. What to do? Both? Neither? I had no idea. Still the consequences of my actions ruled the roost and pressed me to wish for the unparalleled distraction of a female body all over mine. What a wreck. Fuck.

Natalie was so understanding of my bullshit situation that I could not help but be drawn to her home. While there I not only enjoyed the comfort of her loving attention, but also the idea of being completely out of the reach of others if necessary. No one knew her. Fantastic. That thought pulled me quite a bit toward visiting the Brunette for a little while and then running back toward the tall, gorgeous woman and attacking her from every angle rather than sleeping through the night on the coast. I knew spending more time with Natalie was going to convolute my though processes, however the feeling of being buried in a woman's hair for hours typically turned my common sense off completely. I needed to keep focus and take one fucking step at a time. If I was capable, that is. My track record for being insensible? Shredded.

I made the decision to get out of there and head toward the cozy coast and into the eyes of the Brunette.



516



My visit with the gorgeous woman was not what I was expecting after the previous day’s wonder. She had been in contact with my sister. Ugh. Dread. Her manner was tentative because she knew the level of sensitivity when it came to my family. I am certain the last thing she wished was to cause harm. She only wanted to help me think things through and repair myself. Unfortunately, my ideas were radically different. I needed to ease back into life very slowly and maintain my daily comfort. And there was no fucking way I was going to blame her for the effort. Everyone cared for me. Once before she had blown up with worry while I was near my old home and began to send messages asking when I would return and how much she loved me. That was unusual due to her very independent nature, but I was overjoyed to see the loving words. Upon my return that day the police were there to oversee my mood. Eventually an ambulance showed up and awaited my responses to questions, after which I reluctantly agreed to ride to the nearby emergency for evaluation. The Brunette was nervous about taking that kind of step knowing of my personality. The hospital visit proved to be a stretch due to my defensive tendencies and eventually my manner cost me much more time along with a harsh reaction from the woman seeking wellness for me. That situation nearly split us and came to mind anytime I saw worry in her big eyes. The current mood was different, though, because of past weeks. She knew full well that I was no longer going to let another human being leverage me.

Wreckage I was not expecting.

Our discussion went on into the evening as I became increasingly uncomfortable. Talking with her about the issues with my family was not something I had been terribly open about, ever. And I kept picturing myself dashing out of my sister’s house and running away from trying to solve anything when the mood in my head started to twist. The time with Andrea was beginning to feel private, like I had to keep it inside for fear of others knowing about our little world. I had to leave out details of our close conversation and the magical way she looked at me. I requested a pause to gather my thoughts, causing the Brunette to ask of my well-being. I stated in no uncertain terms that I needed to rest my head and drink something. Out came the whiskey. Out came the beer. To the patio chairs where I first told that woman I loved her. Oy. So cozy, despite all of the shit in my head.

We sat in silence and watched the sun melt into the ocean. More booze. More eyes. My phone was absolutely filling with messages of little hearts and kisses from Natalie along with questions from family. They had apparently had a powwow over me again and were looking for answers. My head tried to leave it alone due to dreams of Andrea wrapped around my arm and the mixture of everything pushed at me to do something other than just sit there. But what to do? Spend the night with the Brunette in her cozy apartment? Go back to Natalie and sleep all warm and loving? She wanted me there but understood that my life was so messy that her request came with a note stating that I needed to care for myself before bowing to the wishes of others. Still, I knew not which direction to choose. Stay alone? Hmm.

Fly back to Vegas and slide down the outside of the fucking pyramid? I wish that was funny. Well, probably not a good idea, especially considering the few who still cared for me. I made the decision to avoid Natalie for the night and stay put. The Brunette welcomed me with open home so the idea of remaining there for a while seemed comforting. I expressed as much to her and she responded with a smile, also suggesting that we head out to one of our old locales for a bit of haphazard cheer. Not bad.

We sidled up and the dim little bar and spoke of everything again. She apologized for ambushing me and was reminded of that fateful day when the police were there to meet me. That business day secured funds for my running around the country. Knowing that fact during the hospital visit made the wait a bit easier, however the memory of her being so upset over me really messed up my thinking. The woman had been trying to repair her own life after the breakup but ended up caring for a broken person. And I felt terrible half the time due to her unending love and affection.



517



Guilty, and that was piled upon the guilt and remorse over exiting my long life just months earlier. Everything summed me into a very bad place -- one with which I had been intimately familiar for years. Sitting next to her and looking into those big, amazing eyes, I could not help but be brought back to meeting the first time at Molly’s after work one day. I remember shaking hands and then seeing those eyes and knowing that staring was not going to be enough. She was so beautiful that my head spun. I was also reminded of those terrible nights in her apartment with us screaming at each other and threatening mortality. The entire situation was dangerous for each of us as there was no controlling our actions. The desperate, reckless and depressive nature of each personality matched perfectly and created so many bad moments that I could no longer count them. Between those horrible and tense hours holed up we're moments of beautiful passion along with fiery eyes wanting to drown into the other’s gaze. There seemed nothing else for us so we cling to the passion and dealt with the rest. All of the stress involved in living through such things felt as heavy as the world.

After the discussion of all the wreckage I created by leaving home settled, we walked back to her place and decided to part for a while. My feelings toward her swelled -- as they always had when seeing those big eyes -- and despite the need to melt into her loving embrace again I said goodbye and exited to the slipper. Inside me was a storm of both good and bad. I drove straight to Natalie’s place of work in dire need of arms around me. Why not those of the Brunette? I knew that a few minutes of being close to her vast beauty would have led to much desire for physical love. Natalie drove me the same, however the feelings for the Brunette were different, deeper, troubling. Our short time together had led me to appreciate her on many levels which brought me to fear being too close again. We did not mix well after being near one another for too long. Many nights found us either ready to destroy the other or ourselves. Not good, but we knew it. My head kept finding the words, 'We are done soon', over and over as I drove. And as sad as such a thought felt, in the end we would be better off apart. I knew it. Oil and oil? Something like that. As the miles rolled by, my head began to paint pictures of Natalie’s soft passion. Soon I overloaded and quickened the pace to be near her lovely affection again. As usual, my distressed condition pressed me to run toward a woman. Splendid.

The bar was busy. Natalie noticed me immediately and smiled with the face of appreciation. I returned the gesture, sat and awaited her time. She stood there looking stunning in her work clothes and with an expression combining playfulness and joy over seeing me enter. She looked so cute that I wanted to swallow her whole. I sat and we discussed where I had been which led her to display genuine concern, however Natalie knew that my connection to her was destined from the beginning to be short lived. She knew there was much to repair in my life and none of it would happen as needed unless I went it alone. The woman was like a mental nurse of sorts, and a person with whom I felt completely comfortable sharing all of myself. Sound familiar? Of course, a beautiful woman allowing me to latch on and find the fulfilling escape from all of life. I had to appreciate everything that she offered and at each second. And she knew that, too. Her eyes told me everything and were the diametric opposite of the eyes attached to me which attracted her in the first place. Scotch, a plan for dinner me to spend the night again, and that was that. Mental and emotional comfort. The need was unreal, yet I still knew that the time for reentering life would soon arrive. As difficult as I knew normalcy would be, the truth was that floating around from place to place trying to satiate my desire for comfort could not last much longer. I had to make the change. In the short term, I could not wrench the thought of being wrapped around her warm body for a long while, so I rolled with it and pushed real life away.



518



After a couple of cocktails I was loosened up enough for more conversation, leaving me sans hope for staying with her much longer. When Natalie’s shift ended I was overjoyed that she allowed me to spend time in her home again. I knew the night was likely to be our last, so clinging to every second became paramount. We drove and met at the door, slipped inside and sat to talk a while. I informed her that I had to extricate myself from the ongoing limbo and be productive again. Natalie understood and embraced me tightly, whispering that I would be just fine. I could see the concern in Natalie’s eyes and the feeling of my months-long reckless adventure ending were dropping me into a hole. But I had to do something. No direction, resources waning, and everyone in my life either worried or upset with me, or both. Mostly the latter. As we wrapped up dinner and moved to the bed, I found the incredible warmth and comfort which took the difficulty away and allowed me to relax. Warm covers, arms wrapped, and soft breathing in the quiet. I dreamed of Andrea and Juliette being so understanding and subdued about my terrible situation, with Natalie providing the exact same escape from the frightening reality that I had to move in a very uncomfortable direction, and one with which I had become quite unfamiliar. My life had been waffling between bliss and suicide for so long that the thought of day to day work and normal relationships seemed alien. I needed to be in constant control and to deal with a lack of such a position felt impossible in my severely weakened and depressed state. Not much was required for causing a fall of epic proportions. Being alone worked itself into my head often and the need for female understanding waited in the wings while I passed the time. It always happened like that. I did my best to keep stable until such time as I could drown into those available arms. Natalie helped -- much like Ellie -- with her gentle pressing and hopeful suggestion of taking small steps while seeking moments of comfort. She was very sweet about the whole issue and left me with some positivity. Between her kind affection and my feeling further detached from the goblet, life began to seem eased a touch. Getting myself out of such an enormously wonderful routine and into something uncomfortable required so much effort that I continued to drift back to the thought of her body all over mine, and that subsequently forced me into thoughts that I could never make it through alone. Up. Down. And then up again. I asked that she listen to my words for a time, holding me tightly all the while, after which I eased the push enough to relax next to that beauty. We eventually drifted off all warm and snuggly. Dreams of Andrea. Fuck.

Morning. Dewy, warm, comfy. Natalie attached like an appendage.

I had to go and fix my horrible life and remove myself from that cycle of bliss over which I had total control for too long. The illusion became my only option. The comfort of a woman's arms and heart had to cease for a while in order for me to find a track. Natalie was completely understanding of my need to leave and save myself. She took my face into her hands, kissed me softly, and told me to go out and seek a direction. Anything aside from backward motion. As I moved toward the door, the feelings of leaving her home began to cause anxiety I had not experienced since flying out of Vegas. Andrea's heels were still clicking in my head, Ellie's teary eyes still in mine, Juliette's huge heart and loving manner floating within. Everything all at once. I fell for the tenth time since being near home, dropped my grip of Natalie's lovely hand, and made my way back to the slipper to find something. I rolled on down the highway trying to calculate where to go, eventually realizing my only possibilities were either the Brunette's home or some hotel for the night. Just as I approached the array of choices near the big airport, I was contacted by my ex and asked of my condition after being out of touch for so long. That was very unexpected, however I felt as if her caring was taking over the damage I had caused by running out of our home not three months earlier. I decided to stop off in order to communicate further. Upon hearing her thoughts, I finally had an idea of some stability for a while, including a warm place to sleep for more than one night. She offered her guest bedroom to me so that I could figure things out and at least be fairly comfortable while doing so. I immediately felt horrible for what I had done because she continued to think of my well-being over the pain I had inflicted. Jesus fucking Christ, what a genuine person she was. I believed it, of course, considering all of the early conversations we had in which her priority was to save my life.

I agreed almost immediately, left the view of the beloved airport and drove out to the valley toward my previous home. Along the way all of my issues had been magnified within. Andrea's loving embrace and big, beautiful eyes were spinning me into worry over never finding such a soul again. Memories again, pain over what I had done to such a wonderful person, and finally a tad of relaxation as I realized that her offer to gain some stability was the best idea. Every woman who was not a relation continued to push for a better me. Unreal, especially considering the wreckage. It just kept going. Rolling right over me and I deserved every second. No one deserved what I did... Not at all. But I did it anyway... Selfish, damning, isolating, and dreaming of escape like always. I just fucking ran.



519



I still felt like running. Hiding. Hidden. Gone. I experienced so much fucking comfort in being away from every person and responsibility in life and around tons of people who did not know of me. Add the loving, caring arms of a beautiful woman and the remainder of life drifted away. Far away. But none of that was available any longer. I drove out to the valley and began to embrace the idea of sitting still long enough to organize myself and find the route which could save my life.

And there was my glowing slipper parked in front of the home we had built together. Fuck. Could I stay there? Everything just hurt so much that I did not even know if I could be in that little house without further destruction to myself. Seeing the memories all over the rooms and that hellish location where our wedding photo had been hung for mere months before being hidden away was eating me from the inside out. I felt horrible again. Yes, again. At that point in time I really did not need anything else pushing me down as I had already drawn the need to end myself and just leave everything flying around. The wreckage continued, my head was fragmented like never before, and the ex was still being very kind and caring. Jesus, I had one foot in the ground and the other twitching in the same direction. Upon entering, the decorated walls again pulled at me and tears began to flow. I was alone for hours before the woman I destroyed would be home from work which allowed me to get my things in order and spend some quiet moments reflecting and planning. What? Planning? Yes, something with which I had little experience in recent memory. Planning for what? Work? Nope, just the next few minutes. My ability to go beyond that amount of time had been erased completely. I felt like a student in class for the first time ever. Ugh. Just fucking ugh to the nth degree.

I still wanted to run. What to do? Settle in?

I grabbed the laptop, stowed some clothing, and set the bed up with fresh linens. Sleeping there was going to be tough, however the effort of spreading myself and my belongings around felt as a decent step. The road ahead appeared before me as a wrecked, abandoned dirt path with hazards everywhere. A step. I took a step because of the caring woman whom I had ruined a short time earlier. Upon feeling as if the room was good enough for my rest, I headed back out the door and across to one of my go-to bar/restaurants to drown a while. Thinking was not something into which I had wished to engage, but it was as necessary as drawing breath.

The bar welcomed me as messages from the ex, Natalie, and the Brunette flowed into my little phone. Booze, depression, confusion, uncertainty. The male bartender sensed my mood and kept his distance until I gestured. I sat there a long while watching the empty television broadcast and decided to put a few thoughts down while all of the wreckage was still fresh in my broken brain. I asked for a hard check and pen, slumped myself over the vodka, and began to outline my recent life.



520



Hours passed. I wrote on eleven hard checks before forming the idea of placing my words on the site. Upon realizing that my personal web space could be some sort of outlet, I left the warm bar and drove back toward the house which represented the worst decision I had ever made and the catalyst for me destroying many aspects of my life along with those of the others who knew me. Back to the house, through the door, a hug and concerned look from my ex, and I hid away in the little guest bedroom with whiskey and laptop. Quiet. Alone. Just the words. Plenty of words, all disorganized and combined with enough booze to disallow my fingers the command they normally enjoyed. After a short time I ceased trying to communicate with the machine and switched to online movies. Every now and then (and typically after dark) I ventured out to find some simple food which could be prepared with little or no impact upon her kitchen. Sometimes I went out and ended up loaded and writing on hard checks, other times I cooked quickly so as to keep hidden away and affecting her living space as little as possible. I felt horrible all the time. Movies came and went with the wind, whiskey was constantly stocked up, and the closet sat half-empty with my bits of clothing. I dreamed of the time with Andrea and Ellie which continued to keep me depressed and feeling as if I could barely move in any direction. I missed all of it badly. Sitting there alone for so much time caused loneliness as I had never felt, and as such forced me to realize that I had done it to myself. More wreckage, and from the inside for a change. Others? Still pushed away.

As time passed in that little room I found myself yearning for some company. I had been alone most of the time and in severe pain over feeling as if all of the female companionship, sex, comfort, and freedom were drifting further away and deeper into the past, my head began to drive me toward recklessness once again. I just could not easily handle being out of touch and away from everything which brought joy. The outlet I hoped would help me to ground myself was turning out to be the opposite. I wrote about all of them and the memories of that overwhelming bliss tore me up inside. I still needed it, badly. The alone became another hell. The idea of dying began to cause a fall of terrible proportions and when combined with the whiskey I felt as if I could not survive such drastic changes and the forced erase of all that I desired. I could not handle any of it. The decision was made to dash off toward the coast again so I asked the Brunette about visiting. She agreed and suggested we go to the photo club for the next meeting and then isolate in her apartment for a bit of quiet.

Four days in her warm home.

And then I imploded as laid out here not long ago. That weekend with the Brunette which led to me connecting with Michelle and running away a second time along with further damage to my finances represent the last real connection with a woman. Meeting such a goddess and dashing out of town was wondrous and so necessary for my survival that I had been blinded yet again to any consequences and took off in search of that separation from life. Everyone was left behind by yours truly... Written off, ignored, stuffed into the smallest of spaces as I ran from one hell to another.

Again.

The in-between story of so many falls, so much bliss, thousands tossed to the wind in search of what I needed above all things, is done. Epilogue? Summary? Soon."



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